Clovis North gets defensive in defeating Sunnyside in opener

Photo by Nick Baker – Clovis North sophomore Brock Jones carries the ball in the Bronco’s win over Sunnyside in week one. Unfortunately Jones broke his collarbone later in the game and will be lost for 6-8 weeks.  

Clovis North senior quarterback Brent Bailey, who scored earlier on a 34-yard touchdown run, turns up field against Sunnyside in the team’s 30-6 opening season win. [Photo by Nick Baker]
Clovis North senior quarterback Brent Bailey, who scored earlier on a 34-yard touchdown run, turns up field against Sunnyside in the team’s 30-6 opening season win. [Photo by Nick Baker]
By Paul Meadors | Sports Editor
paulmeadors@gmail.com
@paulmeadors

Casey Quinn came to coach Clovis North this season and installed an up-tempo offense. But in his first game back it was the defense that stole the show.

The Broncos forced five turnovers and rolled to an impressive 30-6 win over Sunnyside, along with a solid contribution from senior running back Jordan Ayerza’s 110 yards and one touchdown.

After bolting to a 21-0 halftime lead behind touchdown runs from Ayerza (7 yards), senior David Akande (1 yard) and senior quarterback Brent Bailey (36 yards) the Broncos continued to put the defensive pressure on the Wildcats before they scored on an 11-yard pass play in the third quarter for their only points in the game.

The big blow in the game for the Broncos was provided by senior defensive back Isaiah Cordova who wrestled away the ball from a Sunnyside running back and sprinted 48-yards untouched for a touchdown in the third quarter to make it 30-0.

“There’s a lot of things that go through a defensive back’s head while you’re playing,” said Cordova. “There’s not that one thing you’re focusing on but one is getting turnovers.”

“I just saw daylight after I spun out of it. I’m thinking ‘I’m taking it to the house.’”

Asked what his teammates told him after his highlight-reel play Cordova sheepishly said: “They said I looked like Honey-Badger” referring to the nickname of Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, known for his ball-hawk plays.

Clovis North No. 23 Isaiah Cordova had a game to remember against Sunnyside in the team’s 30-6 victory when he stripped a ball carrier and sprinted for a 48-yard touchdown. He also recorded one of the team’s three interceptions. [Photo by Nick Baker]
Clovis North No. 23 Isaiah Cordova had a game to remember against Sunnyside in the team’s 30-6 victory when he stripped a ball carrier and sprinted for a 48-yard touchdown. He also recorded one of the team’s three interceptions. [Photo by Nick Baker]
Cordova also recorded one of the Broncos three interceptions. The other two were picked off by Brock Jones and Garret Billhofer.

“He’s a good player and has worked hard in the off season on his skills,” Quinn said of Cordova who currently has a scholarship offer from Utah State. “He’s done a great job being a leader.”

Quinn was quick to praise the entire defense, saying they’re a bit undersized but came out ready to play, putting the offense in great field position which led to opportunities the Broncos capitalized on.

“We adjusted and they (the defense) did a good job and made plays,” Quinn said, who had previously coach at Chavez in Delano, Roosevelt and Central. “That helped put our offense in a good situations.”

As for Bailey, the 6’1” 195 pound senior quarterback showed  impressive power and speed in running a 36-yard touchdown in a game where he only completed 3-11 passes for 14 yards. But there were at least four dropped passes in the game. But lucky for the Broncos, the drops didn’t affect the outcome.

Ayerza got the bulk of the carries and rushed 28 times for his 110 yards. But, the game wasn’t all peaches and cream as the Broncos lost sophomore running back/safety Jones to a broken collarbone. The usual timetable to return is 6-8 weeks.